WILTON, Conn. Paddle tennis players from Fairfield County and other nearby communities whacked returns, slammed serves and hustled around courts at several sites Saturday in the 29th annual Wilton Open.
Sixty-four two-man teams played in A and B draws of the tournament, which is the season-ending event for the paddle tennis community. The sport has become an increasingly popular winter activity and moves more briskly than traditional tennis matches. The rules are essentially the same as in tennis though the game is played on a much smaller court and players can return shots after it bounces off walls that surround the courts. Paddle tennis is also commonly referred to as platform tennis.
The Wilton Open is the longest running paddle event in Fairfield County and is one of the nations oldest. The Wilton YMCA hosts the tournament, with matches also played at facilities in New Canaan, Darien and Weston. The tournament benefits Wilton YMCA charities.
The event is also called St. Paddles Day and the atmosphere is festive as well as competitive. Most of the players will turn in their paddles for the summer and turn to tennis and other recreational pursuits.
This years tournament sold out quickly and 15 teams were wait-listed. Only a few managed to make it into the competition.
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